Dying on a Saturday: The death rehearsal that changed my life

Dec 07, 2023

“We should make all spiritual talk
Simple today:

God is trying to sell you something,
But you don’t want to buy.

That is what your suffering is:

Your fantastic haggling,
Your manic screaming over the price!”



I spent Saturday rehearsing death under the guidance of Alua Arthur, a wise and wondrous death doula. She offers a profound workshop, encouraging an intimacy with our finite lives, and in so doing, helping us live. The confrontation with my inevitable death, was probably some of the most challenging work I have ever done. To have your denial, attachments, and avoidance peeled off of you is a sobering experience. It was like being whittled down to one single point, where the music stops and quiet collects you at the end of the party. Your body can’t save you, nor can anyone you love. It is you, and the mystery from here on out. I suppose that is all there ever is, but we never fully touch down in the still point of this truth. I am. Alone, and all simultaneously. I own nothing. Everything I love will be let go of, and there is nothing I can do to avoid this. Nurturing and living close to death might be the meaning of our lives. “I have now decided that my death should be very precious. I really want to use it. I’d like my death to be as interesting as my life has been, and will be.” - David Bowie.

Death is very present now, as we watch thousands of people and children die. It ripples out to trigger our relationship with death, or lack thereof. "Know me", it says to our still breathing bodies.